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Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2007): Care of the elderly - overseas

Long-term care policies in Italy, Austria and France: variations in cash-for-care schemes

B. Da Roit, B. Le Bihan and A. Osterle

Social Policy and Administration, vol. 41, 2007, p. 653-671

Ageing populations, relative increases in morbidity and chronic illnesses, and pressures on traditional forms of care giving within families have made long term care provision an important welfare state concern in recent years. European countries are responding by introducing 'cash-for-care' schemes. This article investigates the development of such 'cash-for-care' schemes in three social insurance countries, France, Italy and Austria, where long-term care used to be understood to be a family responsibility. In developing their schemes, these states have not followed traditional social insurance principles. Instead, all three countries have introduced non-insurance-based care allowances to support older dependent people. This article aims to show the extent to which these 'cash-for-care' schemes establish a common trend and the extent to which they differ in terms of the specific forms of care commodification that they induce.

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